USS Lantau
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The Battle Begins Part 3

Posted on Wed Feb 13th, 2019 @ 12:51am by Lieutenant Commander Finchley Kerr & Lieutenant Shr'Nesh Karadis & Lieutenant Commander Johnny Walker & Lieutenant Commander J'Loni Mo'Bri & Lieutenant JG Yirvass Daar (Prureen) & Lieutenant JG Addison MacKenzie & Fleet Captain Evelynn Haught & Lieutenant JG Rachael Shelbourne

Mission: Vivere aut non vivere ...
Location: USS Lantau/Borg cube
Timeline: Current

[Old]

Finchley sensed more than saw the disappointment the Captain had in his plan. (Beam over to a Borg Vessel and somehow deploy a virus and destroy them.) He was honestly sorry for what he felt he had to do and that he didn't seek permission to do so, but, that he had felt the situation required an immediate solution, and this was the best that could be offered. They couldn't fight their way out against the Borg cube, he was doubtful they could repel a Borg boarding party, therefore taking the fight 'to' the Borg seemed the natural option. 'If' he survived this mission, and the Doctor could remove the Borg implants from him, he would offer to transfer off of the USS Lantau to either another CIO posting on another ship or speak to Starfleet Intelligence HQ and ask for reassignment from them.

[New -- Transporter Room 2]

Finchley entered the transporter room with Karadis. He explained to the transporter officer on duty that Karadis would be taking over from him for a short time and that he had to wait in the corridor and Karadis would come and get him and let him continue his shift. Nodding in agreement, the officer left the room.

Finchley turned to his number two and said "Well Shr'Nesh, it's time to pay the piper."

Karadis looked solemnly at him, this was one of the very few times her Senior Officer had used her Christian name, and that could mean only one thing.

"You don't think you're coming back...do you?" she asked.

"I can't be certain" Finchley replied "this is a very dangerous situation, and we're up against a Borg cube where one of them refers to himself in the first person, 'I'. That may not seem dangerous to you, but that scares the hell out of me, something new has happened to them Karadis, they're starting to believe they're individuals and that can lead to all kinds of trouble!"

Kardis nodded in agreement as she said "You have to be positive Finchle….sorry, Sir!" she retorted, angry she'd allowed her personal feelings to surface.

"That's ok, it's just the two of us here" Finchley replied to his old friend "you can call me by my first name, after all, we've been through, I think you've earned that right" he smiled.

She banged him on the chest lightly with a clenched fist "You've got to be positive" she reiterated, "and think that once the jobs are done and the virus is delivered, you get out and the Doctor can see about helping you."

Finchley took here by the shoulders and said "Yes, I'll try to remain positive. Once I've beamed over, get back to the Intel office, grab the PADD on my desk and head up to the bridge to help out. Right, it's time to go, you'd better get behind the console over there" he nodded.

Karadis smiled wanly and did as she was asked. Once Finchley was up on the Pad she set the beam in coordinates for the Borg cube.

[Bridge]
Captain Evelynn Haught reached the bridge. "Commander Walker, initiate Battle stations. Lt. Daar prepare to fire on my command. Hail the Borg ship.

Walker nodded. Pushing a couple of buttons on his console the ship's red alert klaxon's started blaring. "All hands to battle stations!"

YirVass worked his console, he was no happier about what they were about to attempt, he could feel the Captain’s Feeling through his Darr symbionts. “Shields and weapons hot captain. Hailing frequencies open, no response sending on all known frequencies.” He waited for the computer to cycle quickly through all frequencies then added, “Still no response Captain. Not that I expected any sir.”

[Transporter room]

Finchley tapped his COMM badge and said "Quirelis, this is Commander Finchley Kerr, I'm beaming over with a proposal from the Captain of my ship."

After a few seconds delay, the reply came back "Noted, I shall hear this proposal."

Finchley looked round at Karadis, and nodded his head. Slowly, she ran her fingers down the system screen and she watched as she beamed her friend into hell...

[Bridge]

Now on the bridge at her engineering station, J'Loni could sense the heightened state of emotions. It was a tense situation, to say the least, but so far things remained peaceful, but for how long?

"Captain reactors at 100% and engines are currently 100%. I can get shields, IDF and SIF a boost when needed. Just say the words", she said. "Damage control teams on duty and standing by. Emergency forcefields will snap in place when needed", she added.

"Understood Lieutenant. said the Captain.

Evelynn sat nervously in her chair. The red alert lights were still flashing all around her. Her Second Officer had just beamed over to the Borg ship in hopes of disabling them from within and all she could think about was how much she wanted him back in one piece.

Commander Kerr had told her of a plan that he himself was solely going to implement just a little over half an hour ago. She was upset with him that he had basically gone over her head with what she would have determined a Command Decision.

“Commander Kerr is over there and safe, for now.” Lieutenant Daar said as he kept an eye on both The vessel ahead and Commander Kerr’s lifesign.

[Borg Ship]

"Four of Twelve, Subordinate Delegate of Trimatrix 6024. Activate." came the thunderous voice of the Borg collective.

Four of Twelve opened up its eyes and stepped out of its alcove.

"Proceed to grid 38 subsection 297. Bring the Starfleet human."

The transporter beam dissipated and Finchley looked around him. He'd never personally seen the inside of a cube, except for the holodeck simulations that he'd been in, but they didn't compare to the real thing. In essence, he expected a lot more, instead of that, it was more dower and dreary than even he'd imagined. He watched as Borg drones walked to and fro, largely ignoring him as he wasn't deemed an immediate threat, and this suited him down to the ground. It didn't take too long however for one drone in particular to come up to him.

You are to follow....comply! was all it said, and with that Finchley did as he was told.

They walked through several corridors and junctions, there was no way Finchley would remember his way back to his beam in point so he hoped, if he was able to contact the Lantau, they could beam him back from where he was. Finally, he was led into a chamber and the drone left him there. Finchley turned slowly on his heels, taking in his unremarkable surroundings, it was nothing special.

"You expected something grander?" a voice sounded out the question.

Finchley instinctively twisted and dropped to one knee, reaching for a phaser that wasn't there. He sighed and rose back to his feet answering "Well...yes if I'm honest."

"Humans are soft and pathetic, requiring comfort and luxury" the Borg who now entered the chamber replied.

"To a certain extent, perhaps," Finchley said and added questioningly "Quirelis?"

"I am Quirelis" the Borg replied, "you are brave to come here and parley for your life and the lives of your crew."

"They're not my crew," Finchley said, "I'm actually the Second Officer, didn't they teach you ranks at Borg school?"

Quirelis chose to ignore the remark and went on "What makes you believe I won't just assimilate you now and then board your ship and do the same to the crew?"

"Because you'd have already done so if you weren't sure about something" Finchley replied, "You obviously assimilated the USS Clip crew, but there's something our ship has that theirs didn't, so it's stopping you....why, what are you afraid of?"

"The Borg fear no-one!" Quirelis boomed confidently.

"Yet here you are talking to me instead of sticking your tubules into my neck!" Finchley yelled back.

Quirelis moved forward and grabbed Finchley by the arm and raised his arm. The tubules shot forward out of his clenched fist but stopped short of entering Finchley body, instead, pushing against his skin.

"Be very careful, I can do it anytime I want!" Quirelis replied.

"It's very odd that you refer to yourself in the first person," Finchley said quickly "Borg aren't individuals, they're a collective, a 'hive', when did you suddenly become boss?"

"I am Quirelis of Borg, I do not have to tell you anything!"

"Look...." Finchley said, trying to remain calm under fear "All I'm looking to do is find out if we can agree on terms on us being able to leave unharmed."

Quirelis tubules retreated back into his clenched fist again and he threw Finchley to the floor saying "Puny and pathetic. We scanned your vessel and there is indeed something you have that we want. If we get this your ship and crew will be released."

"What is it?" Finchley asked.

At this point, Quirelis said "Initiate visual communication with Starfleet vessel"

"We checked the database of the Starfleet vessel you call USS Clip and it had certain Starfleet defense information but not all. Your vessel has encrypted Starfleet defense files. You will give them to us and we will release you and your vessel. Failure to do so and....", he turned and pointed to a screen on the wall which came on.

There, on the screen, in another chamber somewhere on the Borg cube, cowering on the floor, were Starfleet officers and crew, unharmed. Towering over them were Borg drones with tubules out.

"Give me the Starfleet defense information or they are assimilated!" Quirelis said.

[Bridge]

Evelynn stared hard at the viewscreen. 'What would these Borg want with Starfleet's Defense information? she thought to herself. "Quirelis. What guarantee do I have that you won't assimilate us anyway even if we did give you those files? Besides, I'm not going to just hand them over to you. I don't have that kind of clearance." she knew she was lying. As a Task Force Commander, she was one of only a few people who have access to Starfleet's Defense codes.

"It is very simple, if you give it to us we let you and the other Starfleet crew go, if you don't we assimilate them, then we come after you, no mercy..." Quirelis answered menacingly.

Because of the closeness of the Borg cube J'Loni's head swam with the minds from the cube. Even though they were emotionless, she could sense them and one human mind that stood out. But, there was more, very faint, but there. Minds, terrified, scared, and not Borg. She could only guess they were humans. "Captain....a moment if you would......please", she said quietly.

Evelynn nodded her head to the side of the bridge. She really didn't want to be off in her ready room in a critical situation. Turning she faced her chief engineer. "Yes Lieutenant?"

"Captain, I believe that the crew of the Clip are on that cube. I can faintly sense several individual minds. Their emotions are so strong, I am able to sense them. They are terrified, scared, frightened, and now threatened", J'Loni said in a low voice so only she could hear.

Shortly after the Captain and Lieutenant Mo’Bri went to the side of the bridge a security sweep of the ship ahead of them revealed the vision of the Clips crew was a true representation and he made his way to the conversation “Fleet Captain, Lieutenant my apologies Ma’ams But I think I have just found the clips crew!”

Absentmindedly, J'Loni turned her head towards the viewscreen, "Oh my......Kahless....captain look I was right!", she gasped in horror.

[Borg cube]

Quirelis grew impatient with the delay in a reply coming from the Starfleet vessel so said: "You are delaying your answer, unacceptable, punishment will now commence."

He turned to face a smaller visual screen that showed the same picture the USS Lantau bridge crew could see, "Commence!" he said mechanically.

In the chamber, one drone walked stiltedly over to the nearest USS Clip crew member and yanked her to her feet. The crew member shouted and fought their best to get free from the Borgs grasp but couldn't. The drone placed it's clenched fist next to the crew members neck and the two tubules arched out and into the woman's skin. Almost instantaneously she jerked and her skin began to got mottle grey and her veins turned black as the nanoprobes coursed into her veins. Seconds later she stood perfectly still and the drone let go of her arm and led her away.

Quirelis turned back to his original position and said: "Give me the Starfleet defense information now or watch the others get assimilated as well!"

Evelynn started in absolute horror at what just happened before her eyes. "Alright! Alright! You want the codes, ill give them to you, but I want to speak privately with Commander Kerr."

Quirelis said "Close view screen in this chamber and the one with the USS Clip crew. Keep open communication channel with Starfleet vessel and this chamber till I say otherwise!"

The Clip crew disappeared from the in chamber view screen and Quirelis walked slowly over to Finchley. I will give you and your crew three minutes alone together then return. At that juncture, you will give me what I want."

Finchley watched him go, dread fear beginning to build within him but he pushed it down...deep.

From J'Loni's mouth, "nuch targhmey!" (coward dogs!) Growling in anger while tears fell at the same time, she was clearly affected by what just had happened. Taking hold of her emotions she managed to control them and walked stiffly to her console with clenched fists.

Tapping his COMM badge Finchley said, "Kerr to Captain, I'm alone now Sir."

"Commander. Under no circumstances am I giving them Starfleet's defense codes. I know I am asking a lot here but I won't order you to do this..." she paused. She was asking him to sacrifice himself to make sure the Borg virus was distributed.

"It's ok Sir, I completely understand "Finchley replied "when I signed on to the Academy, I knew fine well that the path I had chosen may well one day mean me sacrificing my life for the greater good, and that time is now. If you would be so kind Captain, I've left a PADD in my quarters with my last will and testament on it, can you see to it that it's taken care off, thank you. It's been a privilege to have served with you Sir, you're the best CO I've ever had the good fortune to be under the command of. One more thing if I may, Karadis will undoubtedly go off the deep end and want to take matters into her own hands and want to kill Quirelis and as many of the Borg on this cube as she can before being killed herself....don't blame her, she feels an affinity to me as her Senior Intelligence Officer, just stop her from doing anything stupid no matter how much she'll hate you doing so. Well, time to pay the piper..." he concluded, nodding.

"I'll take care of it personally Commander. And don't worry about Karadis I'll confine her to quarters if I have too." Evelynn knew that even though she told the Borg that she wanted to talk with her second officer privately she still had a sinking feeling that they would be eavesdropping on their conversation and didn't want to give too much information away.

"Thank you Sir, Kerr out" Finchley concluded, and tapped his COMM badge again, closing the link to the Lantau.

J'Loni's hands were racing over the control board and her mind was racing just as fast. She just couldn't just stand and let one of the crew be assimilated just like that. Even if it was the honorable thing to do, it wasn't necessary. She had been studying the engineering feats of the Voyager's chief engineering officer and it dawned on her......why couldn't she use the transporters to get a skeletal lock on the XO. She ran a quick simulation and found it could be done but she needed help to get past the Borg shields. Debating whether to tell the captain she waited for the captain to finish her private talk.

A few moments later J'Loni saw the Captain, "Captain, I can use a skeletal lock on the 2XO and get him back with some help", she said.

YirVass started thinking along the same lines about the same time as J’Loni did. “Captain do we have the Clips Medical records sir. We could probably get a skeletal lock on their crew too.”

Evelynn held up both her hands in a 'Whoa there' gesture. "I appreciate what you all are suggesting but this needs to go according to plan. And before you start asking more questions, Commander Kerr has injected himself with a neurolytic pathogen that will disable the Borg and once that occurs then we can beam the Commander back as well as the crew from the Clip."

YirVass smiled and said “Then I hope the doctor has enough vaccine for the entire Clip crew and Commander Kerr as dicking with the Borg hive will affect any that have been assimilated Sir.”

"Understood captain, sorry it have.....um....pushed the idea", J'Loni said slightly annoyed at her self.

[Borg cube]

Quirelis re-entered the chamber and said "You have had more than ample time to have a discussion with your vessel."

"We're done" Finchley replied, "and I have the defense codes."

"You have the codes?" Quirelis asked questioningly.

"Yes, I have the codes, that was what I was discussing with my Commanding Officer" Finchley lied, though very convincingly.

"You will give them to me, NOW!" Quirelis said loudly.

"Not before I have assurances that the USS Clip crew who haven't been assimilated are allowed to beam safely off of this cube and over to the USS Lantau and that the Lantau is then allowed to leave without being harassed or fired upon!!!" Finchley replied back, just as fiercely.

Lightening quick, Quirelis reached out his left arm, grabbing Finchley by the throat and slamming him into the bulkhead wall behind where he stood. Quirelis right arm reached forward to the side of Finchley's neck and the tubules reached out but didn't penetrate the skin.

"Give me the codes," Quirelis said.

"Not till the Clip crew and the Lantau are safe, oh, and before you think you can just assimilate me and get the codes anyway, there's a trigger phrase I have to repeat in order to release the memory....it's a safeguard our Chief Counsellor implanted into me so that I can't be forced to give away any information" he lied again.

Quirelis stopped, and let go of Finchley. There was a pause, and then Quirelis said: "Our shields have been dropped, the USS Clip crew can be beamed over to your vessel now!"

[USS Lantau - Bridge and Transporter room]

"Captain." came the voice of the Operations manager. "The Borg Cube has lowered its shields and I have a lock on the Clip's Crew."

Evelynn tapped her commbadge. "Bridge to transporter room. Beam the Clip's crew directly to sickbay!" she tapped her badge again. "Bridge to sickbay, Doctor, prepare for incoming. We are beaming the USS Clip crew from the Borg cube.

"Yes, ma'am!' MacKenzie shouted. Tapping her commbadge, Addison said, "This is Doctor MacKenzie to all medical teams - we have incoming! Remember your triage training, and report directly to your team CO with any issues. I'm going to be tied up with Commander Finchley Kerr!"

[Borg Cube]

"The codes, NOW!" Quirelis said again, forcefully.

"When I'm ready" Finchley replied, a smile playing on his face.

Quirelis once again grabbed him by the throat and slammed Finchley into the bulkhead wall "NOW!!!"

"Temper...tem...per..." Finchley almost squawked, finding it difficult to talk with the pressure on his throat.

Quirelis' right arm reached forward again, and this time the tubules came out and lay on Finchley's skin, pushing it inwards but not breaking the flesh wall "I will give you one last chance to give me the codes before I assimilate you!"

"You sound...almost...human saying...that..." Finchley replied "and the...answer is st...ill...when I'm...ready..."

The tubules broke Finchley's skin and the nanoprobes coursed into his veins. It was like a million tiny fires were in his blood stream and he jerked upright as his skin began to turn a mottle grey colour.

Quirelis was about to order a drone to take Finchley away, but then stopped and began to falter, as did the drones nearby. Lights began flickering, wall panels stopped working, circuits blew. The Borg cube was failing....

J'Loni's mind suddenly froze. "Oh my.....", she said suddenly. Her knees buckled and she grabbed the console.

TBC...

 

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